User Reviews (3)

Add a Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    WARNING SPOILERS CONTAINED HEREIN: If you're a fan of James Coburn, his mesmerizing performance in this movie will be a real treat for you. He plays John Patman, a male nurse in a mental hospital. Unlike the coldly detached doctors he works with, he actually cares about the patients and he considers them his friends. His job gets to him, his unpleasant past haunts him, and he starts to take matters into his own hands, which leads to a great downer of an ending. This is one very dark movie and could probably be called film noir. It's got plenty of creepy atmosphere and an equally creepy soundtrack. If you get a chance to get this black gem of a movie, snag it!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watched the film this evening 1/18/2014 and everyone should know that this film is known as both Mr. Patman and also as Crossover. This 1980 movie is quite difficult to locate and often can only be found in the VHS format as Crossover by Lightning Video. This film has a storyline that is difficult to follow. The movie is about Coburn working as a male nurse in a mental hospital and the environment is depressing to say the least. Coburn as Mr. Patman is supposed to have a special bond with the patients but basically comes across as an aging flirt. James strangely dyed his eyebrows black for this picture and it is distracting. Coburn spends a decent amount of the film sleeping around with neighbors and co-workers and his character seems to lack direction. He has empathy for the patients he cares for but bad things seem to happen to his friends and lovers throughout this shaky little film. I am a huge James Coburn fan but this is not one of his better roles, poor dialogue and a depressing premise work together to sink this film. Beware the dark ending where Coburn's character has to decide if he is better suited to treat patients or to give up and become one of them himself. Kate Nelligan is in the supporting cast as a mental patient who prefers to walk around her ward in the nude. This is the rare James Coburn film that is unfortunately not worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    John Guillermin's Mr. Patman (identified on the print I saw as Crossover) is one of the more interesting legacies of the late 70s Canadian tax-shelter boom. Like most of the films that came out of there, it has an imported star and director, and although filmed in Vancouver it's mostly vague about its setting - nothing about it tries to evoke or illuminate "Canadian" themes or issues. Coburn's Patman is a night-shift nurse in a psychiatric hospital, empathetic and easygoing and popular, in severe contrast to most of the self-absorbed, tight-assed doctors; women seem to fall into his lap, although his primary emotional relationship is with his aging cat. Patman starts to see things, to imagine people watching his apartment, or colleagues turning up dead: a conversation with one of the patients - suggesting most of them can turn their conditions on and off at will, if there's ever a reason to (the movie makes several ominous references to the grim state of the world) - sets him thinking increasingly about the relative virtues of their life versus his own, and from there on the plot's general trajectory is never in much doubt. Although it has elements of conventional psychological thrillers, the film never commits very passionately to such genre mechanics, seeming happiest with odd bits of business involving the patients and doctors, and with finding ways to inject a bit of nudity. Coburn seems far too imposing for his role, but he gives a real performance, at once engaged and brooding; despite (or in part because of) Guillermin's murky visuals, he turns Patman's, uh, crossover into a largely plausible existential journey. And that's why the film might stand as a symbol of that maligned cultural era - almost everything about it is ultimately about denial, of Canada, of its star, of sanity, of possibility, of rationality...many (not me of course) will choose to add: of meaningful entertainment. It's an embodiment of the insecurity and benign confusion that spawned the ill-fated tax-shelter policy, and that shapes much of Canadian policy today for that matter. Perhaps then it should be reclaimed as a great Canadian movie, albeit largely because of its denial of any such identity.